One of my first childhood memories is of the moment I got my own library card, so it's clear that I grew up in a family of readers. I always had a book in my hand, and as I grew into my preteen years I began to veer away from the All-Of-A-Kind Family series to more modern Judy Blume novels, whose heroines held a mirror up to my own life. You can imagine my shock, then, when one day I came home from the library with Forever by Judy Blume — and was told by my mother that I wasn't allowed to read it.
Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.
There was something anticlimactic to the news that the AP Stylebook will no longer be objecting to the use of "hopefully" as a floating sentence adverb, as in, "Hopefully, the Giants will win the division." It was like seeing an obituary for someone you assumed must have died around the time that Hootenanny went off the air.
Zoltan Barbu is a once-exalted author now exiled in Los Angles. He wears capes, seduces actresses in Jacuzzis and hasn't produced anything in decades. If it sounds cliche, that is the point. In Ménage, her first novel in 25 years, the feminist writer Alix Kates Shulman has given us a modern parable: caricatured characters interacting and standing in for real-world archetypes. Zoltan, predictably enough, is her catalyst.
What is it about eating a meal outside that just makes everything seem wonderful in the world? I'm smitten with alfresco dining, hungering for the open-air charms of rooftop restaurants (less common than you'd think here in Portland, Ore.) and practically camping out at the table on my back porch (or, as it's become known, "the satellite office") for the bulk of the summer. But my favorite summertime dining experience of all is the humble picnic.